What does a Physiotherapist do?
The role of a physiotherapist is to localise the cause of pains, chronic conditions, or restrictions to movement through physical assessments in order to implement treatment plans catered to the individual.
While other healthcare practitioners also assist treating similar ailments, a physiotherapist’s goal tends to involve assisting the patient to strengthen certain muscle groups in the body that allow for more effective movement and reduced pain for the long term. For this reason a physiotherapist may be recommended by a GP to treat a wide range of rehabilitation needs, injury, back and shoulder aches, chronic ailments, and peak sports conditioning.
When should I see and physiotherapist versus an osteopath?
Both professions often treat the same conditions, but with a slightly different approach. An osteopath tends to be more hands on, using methods such as massage to practise their approach that addressing the interconnectivity of one area of muscles and bones can alleviate issues in another connected area. While a physiotherapist tends to use tactical exercises to strengthen and improve problematic parts of the body for long term improvement.
For this reason, some patients tend to prefer Osteopathy for injury and rehabilitation, and make appointments in order to checkup and improve problematic areas, whereas a Physiotherapist may be more appropriate for treating serious conditions that take a longer time to rectify by strengthening the body’s ability to move naturally.
With that said, sometimes a mixed treatment of seeing both an Osteopath and Physiotherapist is best for some conditions, so we recommend speaking with us so that we can suggest the best option for your ailment.
How can a Physio help you?
In Australia, Physiotherapists require a high level of education in order to treat people that are suffering from injury, disease, illnesses, and issues derived from ageing. Most often, these issues will cause the patient to experience pains or a loss of normal function and movement in their body, in which a physiotherapist is qualified to restore the most natural movement possible, often by organic (non-medicated) means.
Outside of pain and restricted movement issues, physiotherapists often work with elite athletes to recommend fitness and training programs to ensure they are performing at peak levels.
What professional training do Physiotherapists have?
In Australia, physiotherapists require a minimum four year Bachelor degree in physiotherapy, or a five year double degree. Many physiotherapists continue to a masters level to specialise in a focused field, such as sports or osteoporosis. All courses include a mix of theoretical and supervised practical learning.
How long will my Physio treatment take?
The length of your physiotherapy session will depend on the complexity of your issue and how many exercises or tests the physiotherapist will need to conduct in order to understand and discuss your issue. For this reason, initial consultations usually take longer than follow up sessions and can range from 30 minutes to over an hour. Whereas follow up sessions typically take up to 30 minutes.
What can I expect from my first consultation?
In your first consultation, your Physiotherapist will discuss and record notes on your issue; how it presents itself, how it becomes aggravated, how it feels relief, and your medical history. They may also ask what you would like to achieve or get back into doing after the issue is solved in order to establish goals. Your physio may then ask you to undertake a number of movements or positions in order to determine your strengths and weaknesses that may contribute to your issue. This may involve removing some clothing to allow for free movement and proper assessment, if you do not feel comfortable that’s fine, just mention this to your practitioner at any time. Once the physio has grasped a better idea of your movements and limitations, they will either be able to begin some massage or alteration techniques, suggest a treatment plan to begin immediately, or recommend further screening to better understand your ailment such as an ultrasound or X-ray.